Home in Hong Kong
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House Renting Guide
7 Steps to Getting Your Dream Home in Hong Kong
Housing in Hong Kong is always in great demand. Looking for a home here can be very stressful if you don’t know where to begin and are unaware of the procedures involved. What's your game plan for getting your dream home in Hong Kong?
The following 7 steps serve as a quick guide to your house-hunting journey and can help you turn the seemingly daunting task into a cakewalk.
Write down your specific requirements for the place you want to get
Thinking through and visualising what you need and want is the first step to finding your perfect home in Hong Kong. Answering the following questions will help you get a clear picture:
Where would you like to live in Hong Kong? (If you don't know the city well, it might be helpful to visit and get a feel for different chosen areas first.)
What is the maximum time you are willing to spend on the daily commute — from home to work, a single trip?
How many rooms (bedroom, bathroom, storeroom, helper's room, etc.) do you need?
What is your desired saleable area (net floor area) of the property?
What kind of view would you like to get?
Is an outdoor space (balcony, terrace, garden or rooftop) important to you?
Do you prefer a furnished apartment or an unfurnished one?
Do you need a car parking space?
What kind of amenities, e.g. gym or swimming pool, would you like to have access to?
Will you keep any pets at home?
What is your budget range?
What other concerns do you have?
Writing down your specific requirements is essential, but you should not set them in stone. Do your homework by asking around or conducting a preliminary home search online. You surely want to align your expectations with reality.
Find Property Search Websites Here
If you can't find a place that ticks all the boxes, stick to the must-haves and compromise on the nice-to-haves. Also, prioritising your preferences can save you a headache at the time of choosing a property.
Be prepared before starting your house hunt
A nice flat at a reasonable price usually doesn't stay long on the market. You should have three things ready for entering into a provisional tenancy agreement when you go house hunting:
Your identity document, e.g. passport or HKID
Proof of work and income, e.g. employment letter/contract or payslips for the last three months (your name card might also be helpful)
An initial deposit of one month's rent (cheque or cash)
By the way, you may be asked to show your identity document to the building's concierge for registration before a viewing. Don't view apartments empty-handed so you won't go home heavy-hearted!
Getting a home in Hong Kong could be quick and easy if you are well prepared. It's possible to find a place, do the paperwork, and even get the keys — all in the same day!
Pick the right time for viewing properties
Right timing is critical in getting a place. The sooner you can start the lease, the bigger your bargaining power will be. The best time to view properties is one to three weeks before you want to move in.
Unless you are looking for something very special or rare, you don't have to commence your home search more than one month before you need a place. Most landlords will not wait that long for a tenant to start paying the rent.
If you want to avoid keen competition from other home seekers, try to view properties on a weekday rather than the weekend or a public holiday.
Conduct an updated property search
Properties come and go very quickly in Hong Kong. The best time to carry out a real property search is a couple of days before the day you plan to view apartments.
We will conduct a comprehensive home search and send you the property info and pictures/videos (if available) via email or WhatsApp before the viewing. You can then filter out those unsuitable properties.
If you come across any properties you're interested in online or elsewhere, please send us the links or info so that we can check them out and make those viewing appointments for you as well (we can work with many other estate agents). We'll try to arrange the viewings in one go so you can save time and effort.
Negotiate the best price and terms with the landlord
Once you have located a suitable place, we will help you negotiate the best price and terms with the landlord based on up-to-date market trends and transaction records.
Representing and acting only for you (i.e. single agency) in most cases, we'll look after your best interests during the whole process.
Get the paperwork done
If the negotiation goes well, we will help you sign a Provisional Tenancy Agreement with the landlord to secure the property. An initial deposit of one month's rent is needed at this point.
Before or on the day of getting the keys, you have to sign a formal Tenancy Agreement and pay the balance (usually 2 more months) to the landlord and your share of the stamp duty fee to the Hong Kong SAR Government.
You are only required to pay us a commission upon completion of the deal. Please check out our special offer.
Attend to matters before and after moving in
It's exciting to anticipate moving into a new apartment, but don't forget to see about several important things:
Before moving in
Ensure the agreed renovation and cleaning work is done before the handover
Take up your water, electricity and gas accounts (we can help you with that)
Inquire which Internet service providers and plans you can choose from (again, we can help you get the relevant info)
Make necessary arrangements with the building's management for a smooth move-in
After moving in
Apply for resident cards (if any) from the building's management
Have a good check of everything in the property — doors, windows, floor, walls, pipes, drains, cables, appliances, and so on
Are you ready to begin your house-hunting journey?
Working with a professional and independent real estate agent is your first smart move towards getting your dream home in Hong Kong. We look forward to giving you a hand!
For more information and tips on house hunting, please read this ebook:
SMART Home Hunting: The Key to Getting Your Perfect Place in Hong Kong